Whether you’re new to medical marijuana or you’ve been using it for some time, you probably know there are quite a few different strains. It’s one of the reasons medical cannabis is considered one of the most personalized medical treatments currently available.
The sheer number of different strains can make it difficult to know exactly what you need. You may know you want a medical marijuana treatment for pain, but there are many strains designed to treat pain. To complicate matters further, each different producer has different brand and trade names.
What you need is a marijuana strain guide to help you.
Why Do You Need a Marijuana Strain Guide?
As mentioned, there are many different strains of medical marijuana available on the Canadian market. It can be overwhelming for patients to find the right strain.
The vast number of producers complicates matters. Some producers have proprietary trade names for strains they originated. In some cases, however, they’ll use a new and inventive trade name for a common strain.
A marijuana strain guide can help new patients sort out this confusion and help them get on the right track.
Indicas, Sativas, and Hybrids
The first thing to understand about medical marijuana strains is that they can be broken down into three general categories, based on the type of plant. There are two types of cannabis plant: the indica plant and the sativa plant.
These two plants can be crossed to create hybrid plants.
Generally speaking, indica strains are used for their sedative effects. Sativas tend to be more energizing and uplifting. Hybrids can fall anywhere in between, depending on the parentage of the plant.
All plants can be bred to have higher or lower concentrations of certain cannabinoids. Both the strain and the cannabinoid content are important considerations.
CBD, THC, and Everything in Between
There are hundreds of known cannabinoids. Science is only just beginning to reveal what these substances do. Two of the best-known and best-studied cannabinoids are THC and CBD.
THC is responsible for most of the “classic” effects of cannabis. These include sleepiness, hunger, and relaxation. THC is psychoactive, which means it crosses the blood-brain barrier. THC is thus responsible for any “psychedelic” effects. It can occasionally trigger hallucinations, paranoia, or anxiety.
CBD has quite different effects. It is non-psychoactive. Both THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory properties, making them helpful for those dealing with inflammatory conditions.
CBD and THC occur in varying concentrations in different strains. You should pay attention to these concentrations when selecting any medical marijuana strain. The medical experts at a medical cannabis clinic can help guide you on what might be right for you.
Sorting out Strain Names
Most strains of medical marijuana have “common” names. For example, you’ll find many strains have the name “Kush.” This indicates the strain is part of the kush family of indica plants.
Some producers simply use the common name of the strain. For example, there are several producers who grow and market the White Widow strain, and they label it as “White Widow.”
In other cases, the producer will give the strain a new trade name unique to the producer. If it’s based on a common strain, they may indicate what it is in parentheses. For example, one producer calls their Sour OG “Sour OG,” while another calls it “Monarch.” In a handful of cases, the strain may be unique to the producer.
If you have questions or concerns about strains, don’t hesitate to talk to a licensed producer about their products, or consult with the knowledgeable experts at a medical marijuana clinic. They can help you find the right strain for you.